Lie Down in Darkness, Rise Up from the Ash

Author: Dwimordene

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Times: The Lord of the Rings: Incomplete - Third Place

Story Type: Incomplete  ✧  Length: unknown

Rating: PG-13  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: This is a very dark AU for LOTR. The premise: without Gollum, how does the Quest turn out? Angsty drama ensues as the storyline of the Lord of the Rings unfolds differently as we attempt to take "the road less traveled by."

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Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: N/A

First of all, before writing anything else, I need to say that this is the story that got me into LotR fanfiction in the first place. This story remains my absolute favorite tale in the LotR fandom, and it has never been dethroned, despite some remarkable attempts from all the exceptional stories I have read since then. Why do I love this story so much? I don't think I could list all the reasons, but I'll go for my top few. First of all, characterization. Dwimordene has a firm grasp on every single character within the books, from minor characters like Arwen and Damrod to my favorite characters, the Three Hunters. They are the characters that Tolkien made, but they have been enhance and expounded upon. I think the character I've grown to love most since Dwimordene got her hands on him is Eomer. He is so defined in this story! Second of all, I love how Dwim keeps her story on such a close parallel with Tolkien's. It makes the differences between them all the more stark and foreboding. Boromir still dies. Merry and Pippin are still captured. Frodo and Sam still meet Faramir. But other things, such as Legolas returning to Edoras with Eomer, Aragorn and Gimli passing up Fangorn, and Frodo's extreme methods to hide the Ring, are chilling in their departure from Tolkien's path. Third, the action sequences. Dwim is a master of drama, introspection, and dialogue, and these are all expertly used, but the action is some of the best I've ever seen, particularly the Battle of Edoras. Fourth, tension. And in this, I'm thinking specifically of the tension in Rohan when Legolas arrives and meets Theoden, Eowyn, Eomer, and Gríma. The slow build of uncertainty and then ultimately disaster is something that still floors me every time I go back to read this story. The tension when Sam and Frodo run into Grishnákh is of an entirely different nature but just as compelling. I could go on and on, but I'll end now and save you from further rambles about my favorite story save for this: If you read this, Dwim, thank you! Because of your story, I became involved an entirely different world and I have loved every minute of it.

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

This was one of the first LOTR stories I read. And I'm still reading. It's one of the tightest AU's I've ever read, where the author took just one thing out of the original story and then tried to imagine how different it would be. I admit one of my favorite parts is her italicized naration on the music. It was that that made me know she wrote symphonies. She takes some interesting diversions from Tolkien's path, such as brinign the Helm's Deep fight to Edoras, and yet keeps so close that I find the same annoyances I had with Tolkien's: Enough Frodo and Sam. I want to see more Legolas! (One of my favorite scenes will always be when Eomer and Legolas are in prison and Eomer is so freaked out by Legolas's eyes being open!)